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The Waiting Room: Pt. 6

“Come back and see me on the 30th,” the Doctor Tlihg said, “we’ll see if surgery can help you any.” One of his nurses whispered something to him real quick. The good Doc’s expression grew slightly more crestfallen, “Or, alternatively, we could assign a different medication. Sometimes that works too.” Doctor Tlihg was the archetypical scalpel enthusiast. He was a firm believer that even the most innocuous of problems could and should be fixed by an incision here and a snip there; sew up and the person is as good as new. He had to be constantly reminded by his nursing staff that sometimes drugs were the answer, not surgery.

“O-okay,” Charles agreed with a sycophantic head nod and an almost but not quite blank expression. Charles exited the building while pulling on his trash bag poncho and donning his anti-brainwashing cap to create an image of something vaguely reminiscent of a fly. {Here I am. The danger zone. Someone should put up some orange traffic cones}. And so there he was, standing in the wide open world filled of wonder {it’s all a hoax}, cookies {topped off with arsenic}, cellular devices {for brainwashing}, people {experiments of a grand scale}, and paranoid schizophrenics {we prefer the term “enlightened”}.

Homeward bound, Charles set forth at a brisk pace. At first he was feeling comfortable, knowing he was protected with his ultra-snazzy hat. He continued strolling right along, taking occasional pause to mutter to himself. {Damn. Damn damn damn. All wrong it’s just all wrong}. He continued both his gait and his muttering with much content for the next couple of blocks. {Whoop—that was a close one. Almost stepped on a crack there. Step on a crack, break your mother’s back. I wonder how they get ‘em}.

Charles kept up his walking; carefully treading so as not to break his poor mother’s back. Behind him there was a quiet scurry, almost imperceptible, however the ever alert Charles managed to hear it. {What was that}? Charles got the sweats, perspiring like he was one of those neat cherub fountains. He began breathing more heavily to somewhat resemble man’s best friend. The breeze accelerated a bit causing a couple of leaves to scrape the grey cement.

“Who’s there?” Charles interrogated. No one but the breeze heard him. Almost as if in response, it kicked up again, but Charles only took this as more skittering about.

Soon, his careful treading left him and he began a sprint – or at least a heavy run. To him everything was a blur and the only thing Charles was aware of was the distant skittering and the thunderous plopping of his feet against sturdy cement. Before he knew it, he was approaching a front yard in the middle of rundown suburbia. However, this front yard was not foreign to him. He dashed onto the familiar steps and yanked open the white rickety screen door.

“Anyone?” he called out when he entered the house. There was no reply. {They got here. They got them. Where am I to go}? Charles raced about the house looking for some sign. On the counter in the kitchen the rice cooker was on. It was still on cooking mode indicating it had been turned on recently. {I’m too late. Oh if I had just gone a little bit faster}. He ran out of the kitchen and rounded the right corner leading down a hall with a couple rooms, but seemed to stretch out forever in Charlie’s eyes. He whimpered. He thought he saw a familiar room – his room. He darted inside like an adrenaline-hyped cheetah, turned around and slammed the door shut behind him, locking it. Shaking with fright, Charles ransacked his closet, and out came a sleeping bag. There was a perfectly good bed within ten feet of him, however, there was always that chance it was a trap. Charles laid out the sleeping bag and buried himself inside of it.

Soon, there was a knock on his door, “Charlie? Is that you?” Charlie scuffled and twitched in his sleeping bag, sucked in panicked breaths and subconsciously hoped he wouldn’t hyperventilate – a vain endeavor.

She must have heard him, for she continued talking, “Charles, you know you’re not supposed to lock the door. Please come out.”

“No. They’re going to get me like they got you.”

“No one got me.”

“Then why weren’t you home?”

“I was in the backyard, gardening while waiting for the rice to be ready.” She, whose name was Charlotte, paused for a moment. “Please come out.”

There was silence, so she decided to just ask a blunt question, “Are you going to be in there all day?”

Again silence. Charlotte sighed and went back to her gardening. It was tough having a kid who was a paranoid schizophrenic. {Tomorrow I’m going to have to take him back to the doctor}, she thought.

So a day passed by and Charlie was wide awake in the morning. His paranoid fit had died down for the most part and he was feeling more relaxed. In the morning he heard another knock immediately followed by, “Charlie, it’s your mother. May I come in?”

Charlie bit his lip for a moment and said, “m-o-okay.”

She entered, “Charlie, would you like to see the doctor again?”

“Not particularly.”

“Would you go, just for me? Maybe we could watch T.V. after.” Charlie loved to watch television; however, he was often banned from it because sometimes it induced his fits.

Charlie considered this for a moment, and then finally gave in.

In the car he mostly stayed huddled in the backseat. They reached a red light at an intersection. Across from him, a man in a sleek looking black car and some rockin’ black sunglasses drove up. {It’s the man. The G-Man}. Charlie’s eyes flashed white with horror. He quickly began scrambling at his seatbelt in the sedan, legs kicking and flaring wildly in a desperate effort to escape. Charlotte took a moment to respond to this new crisis.

“Charlie? Charlie what’s the matter?”

“He’s here. You set me up! I know you did!” And without further ado, Charles pulled the handle of the car door and darted out, still garbed in his special hat and poncho. As he was sprinting away to the only place he still had any trust at all for, the doctor’s office, an ominous rain began to pour….and pour….and pour. {It’s rigged. Good thing I have my poncho}. He kept running and running—and knowing that his mother had set him up, didn’t slow down to make sure he didn’t step on any cracks. {I have to get there before they get me}.

Charles was almost there, just fifty meters away from the office and closing in, running as fast as his little schizophrenic self could carry him. He reached the door, swung it open and dashed up to a funnily dressed looking man with rather exquisite shoes and shouted his saliva-ridden warning in the man’s face, “They’re out there! They’re coming!”



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